Nurses offered strike services in addictions, transplants

Capital Health’s decision to stop performing transplants and shut down methadone treatment in the event of a strike is about politics, not patients, says the NSGEU.

“Nurses take strike services very seriously,” said President Joan Jessome. “I want to be clear: the Union has offered to leave staff in the transplant and addictions units in the event of job action. The decision to shut down these services was made by Capital Health, not by nurses.”

In talks about staffing in the event of a strike, Capital Health requested the Union guarantee 4.2 Full Time Equivalent nurses (Multi-Organ Transplant Coordinators) to continue working in the Transplant Unit and one round-the-clock on-call nurse. The NSGEU agreed with that request and included those staff numbers in their emergency services proposal.

The NSGEU also agreed to provide staff in the inpatient addictions unit and, in discussions with Capital Health, suggested that methadone can be administered by staff outside the bargaining unit, such as nurse managers or pharmacists.

In a CBC story today, Capital Health is quoted as saying it will stop performing transplants altogether and shut down the methadone program.

“We have come to the table ready to negotiate Emergency Services in good faith” said Jessome.

“It is unfortunate that Capital Health was not willing to work with us on a plan. Once again, their priority seems to be something other than patient safety.”

The NSGEU has also committed to fully staffing the Emergency Department, ICUs, Cancer Care and Veteran’s care units, and to providing a basic level of staffing in other units.


The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union represents over 30,000 women and men who provide quality public services Nova Scotians count on every day.
For more information or to arrange an interview with NSGEU President, Joan Jessome, please contact:
Holly Fraughton, NSGEU Communications Officer
424.4063 (office)  
471.1781 (cell)

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